Will Damian Lillard Play Tonight? Portland Trail Blazers vs Chicago Bulls: Injury Update, Lineup and Game Prediction

Published 01/05/2021, 7:30 PM EST
Jan 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) handles the ball defended by Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


As soon as the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls matchup comes up, it’s hard not to think of the 1992 NBA Finals. Who can forget Michael Jordan taking a dunk right after a free-throw? Sadly, these two teams don’t look anywhere near what they were back then. Chicago stands eleventh in the East and Portland stands seventh.

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Both these teams are not at their best and have a bleak chance at getting a place in the playoffs. However, they are both desperate to add a win to their tally. So, who will it be?

Chicago Bulls injury update and lineup prediction

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The Bulls are coming to this matchup after winning against the Dallas Mavericks with a 118-108 score. But this isn’t as great as it sounds because the team didn’t have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

They are a team infused with talented players like Zach Lavine who delivered his career-high performance against Dallas by dropping 39 points in 39 minutes. Although there are more players in the team scoring in double digits like Coby White, their offense isn’t as impressive. A below-par defense further compounds their problems. Their opponents seem open to taking any shots, and they also foul extensively.

Dec 26, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) shoots against Indiana Pacers guard Justin Holiday (8) during the first half of an NBA game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, the Bulls are also short-handed. Tomas Satoransky and Lauri Markkanen could be out for several games because of COVID-19 protocols. Even Ryan Arcidiacono and Chandler Hutchison are out because of injuries.

With that, the predicted lineup would be Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White, Patrick Williams, Zach Lavine, and Otto Porter Jr.

Portland Trail Blazers injury update and lineup prediction

Blazers are in a slightly better position than the Bulls. With wins and losses at par, they are just entering this contest after losing to the Golden State Warriors and facing Stephen Curry‘s 62-point wrath. It goes without saying that their defense has been awful so far which may be some good news for the Bulls.

Even though their offense may not be the best, it is still intact. Their key player is Damian Lillard who ended with 32 points against Golden State, and they have CJ McCollum as their second-scoring option. Though the Blazers got Jusuf Nurkic back healthy, they haven’t seen the results they were hoping from him.

The Blazers had a pretty good offseason with enough players to help Lillard. So, the way to get that victory is probably to make sure they just outscore their opponent.

Jan 1, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles the ball against Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) in the third quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

With Zach Collins out and Rodney Hood questionable for this game, the predicted lineup would be Robert Covington, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Damian Lillard, and Derrick Jones Jr.

Game prediction

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The Blazers and Bulls’ defense might be as bad as the other, but Portland has an upper hand on the offense. Expect the Bulls to give them a run for their money, but for Dame to take this win away from them.

 

 

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Yashima Bhatia

1492 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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